5. Van Halen – Van Halen (Warner Bros. Records, 1978)
Released in February 1978, Van Halen is the debut studio album of the American rock band Van Halen. Containing many of Van Halen’s signature songs, the album sold more than ten million copies in the United States alone. The sound of this album is defined by Eddie Van Halen’s guitar mastery and his unorthodox techniques. Today this album is considered one of the greatest debut albums of all time, and when it was released it set the standard for how rock and roll sounded for the next decade or more.
4. Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance (Columbia Records, 1982)
Released in July 1982, Screaming For Vengeance is the eighth studio album by British Heavy Metal band Judas Priest, and it was their commercial breakthrough, selling over 5 million copies. Recorded at Ibiza Sound Studios, Screaming For Vengeance showcased a harder, heavier sound than British Steel, and saw the band reverse direction back into straight heavy rock. The hit single “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” became one of the band’s most famous songs.
3. Metallica – Master Of Puppets (Elektra Records, 1986)
Released in March 1986, Master Of Puppets was Metallica’s third studio album, but their first major label release. It was also the last album to feature bassist Cliff Burton. Master Of Puppets became the first Thrash Metal album to be certified platinum, and it is credited with establishing the American Thrash Metal scene with its atmospheric and meticulously performed songs. All of the songs have been performed live and some became permanent setlist features, with the title track being the most played Metallica song.
2. Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast (Harvest Records, 1982)
Released in March 1982, this album was the band’s third studio album, but the first to feature vocalist Bruce Dickinson and their last with the late drummer Clive Burr. The Number Of The Beast was a critical and commercial success, becoming the first Iron Maiden album to reach No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart, and be certified platinum in the US. This is not only an album that is a classic in the world of metal, it is also the one that propelled Iron Maiden on their way to become one of the greatest and most influential bands of all time.
1. Black Sabbath – Paranoid (Vertigo Records, 1970)
Released in September 1970, Paranoid is the second studio album by the English rock band Black Sabbath, and it is considered the ultimate Heavy Metal prototype. Paranoid contains several of the band’s signature songs, “Iron Man”, “War Pigs” and the title track, which was the band’s only Top 20 hit. Most of the songs on the album evolved during onstage improvisational jams. Lemmy Kilmister called “Iron Man” one of the most memorable riffs of all time, Kerry King cited “Electric Funeral” as having “some monster riffs that have stood the test of time” while Jerry Cantrell called “Hand Of Doom” a masterpiece. Paranoid is cited as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time, it is the one that defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history.